Al Jazeera Journalist Is 5th in His Family Killed in Gaza

'The whole world must look at what is happening here in the Gaza Strip,' says his journalist father
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 8, 2024 10:11 AM CST
Al Jazeera Journalist Is 5th in His Family Killed in Gaza
Palestinians look at a car targeted by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

An apparent Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian journalists in southern Gaza on Sunday, reports the AP, including an Al Jazeera journalist who lost four close relatives earlier in the war. Hamza Dahdouh is the son of veteran Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Dahdouh, whose wife, two other children, and a grandson were killed by a previous Israeli strike. The elder Dahdouh has continued to report on the fighting between Israel and Hamas even as it has taken a devastating toll on his own family, becoming a symbol for many of the perils faced by Palestinian journalists, dozens of whom have been killed while covering the conflict. Hamza Dahdouh, who was also working for Al Jazeera, and Mustafa Thuraya, a freelance journalist, were killed when an airstrike hit their car while they were driving to an assignment in southern Gaza, according to Al Jazeera.

A third journalist, Hazem Rajab, was seriously wounded. Amer Abu Amr, a photojournalist, said in a Facebook post that he and another journalist, Ahmed al-Bursh, survived the strike. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military. Wael Dahdouh, 53, has been the face of Al Jazeera's 24-hour coverage of this war and previous rounds of fighting for millions of Arabic-speaking viewers across the region, nearly always appearing on air in the blue helmet and flak jacket worn to identify journalists in the Palestinian territories. Speaking to Al Jazeera after his son's burial, Dahdouh vowed to continue reporting on the war. "The whole world must look at what is happening here in the Gaza Strip," he said. "What is happening is a great injustice to defenseless people, civilian people. It is also unfair for us as journalists."

Al Jazeera accused Israel of deliberately targeting the reporters and condemned the "ongoing crimes committed by the Israeli occupation forces against journalists" in Gaza. It also vowed to take "all legal measures to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes." Dahdouh was reporting on the offensive in late October when he received word that his wife, daughter, and another son had been killed in an Israeli airstrike. His grandson, wounded in the same strike, died hours later. Al Jazeera later aired footage of him weeping over the body of his son while still wearing his blue press vest. The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 70 Palestinian reporters, as well as four Israeli and three Lebanese reporters, have been killed since Hamas' Oct. 7 attack triggered the war in Gaza.

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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